“You Can’t Spell Virus Without ‘U’ and ‘I'”: How Couples are Coping with Quarantine


Emily Kitchens

Juniors Santiago Tovar and Emily Kitchens have a FaceTime date to celebrate their 11-month anniversary.

Rachel Lichtenwalner, Staff Writer

You used to catch up in the hallways between classes, exchanging a quick hug before you parted. You went out to dinner or headed to the movie theater on Friday nights.

Whatever you did, nothing could beat just enjoying one another’s presence then and there.

But now, those special times have been put on pause. Dates turned into long FaceTime calls and kisses on the cheek turned into blowing kisses through a screen.

The coronavirus pandemic’s call for social distancing has posed challenges for couples, but they’re learning to prevail against them and adapt to the situation at hand.

Junior Emily Kitchens said in an email that it’s been difficult not seeing her boyfriend, junior Santi Tovar, face-to-face, “but we’re doing what we have to do to flatten the curve.”

To keep in touch, they’ve been regularly texting and planning FaceTimes to accommodate their TeleSchool schedule.

One video chat, in particular, was quite unique.

On their 11-month dating anniversary, Kitchens and Tovar celebrated with a FaceTime dinner date. They dressed fancy and made pasta and cookies together over the phone.

They even put candles on both sides of the call as they ate, per the suggestion of Kitchens’s mother.

“I know from both of our perspectives that date has made us feel more in touch with our lives before quarantine,” Kitchens said.

Sophomore Lia Mcsweeney said in a text that although social distancing hasn’t necessarily affected her relationship with sophomore Lawson Hale, “I will say his sleep schedule is so messed up, so I don’t talk to him as much because he is sleeping when I’m awake and vice versa.”

Sophomores Lia McSweeney and Lawson Hale.

However, they try to overcome this obstacle by spending about one to three hours FaceTiming every day.

They also chat over text, Snapchat and by sending each other TikToks and Instagram posts, simple indirect ways to show they’re thinking of one another.

Each pair agreed that making time for each other was crucial in maintaining their relationship, especially in the current predicament.

“I think it’s key for couples to keep up with constant communication, and we’ve just been doing our best to keep in contact with each other consistently,” sophomore Zach Rose said in a text in regards to dating sophomore Skye Harley.

And although Rose said it’s tough not seeing Harley every day at school, he’s looking at their separation optimistically.

“I try to stay positive because I know absence makes the heart grow fonder, so it just means that it’ll be that much better when I do get to see her again,” he said.